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  • List Price: $16.99
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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Some wear to dust jacket, edges and corners. No marks. Binding tight.
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Cowboy and Octopus Hardcover – September 6, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Scieszka and Smith (Math Curse) unpack a bin of old toys and comics for this characteristically oddball entry. Their title page, which depicts a pair of scissors beside a sheet of Western Heroes paper dolls and an undersea comic book, reveals the origins of Cowboy and Octopus—both are paper cutouts that pose the same way throughout this episodic volume. Blond, cinematic Cowboy wears pressed jeans tucked into fancy boots and a fringed paisley shirt suitable for the rodeo. Sky-blue Octopus, with a tangle of tentacles, is shaded with pre-digital lavender dots. After cooperating to ride a seesaw, they shake hands, and shake hands, and shake hands a total of eight times, cementing their friendship. Octopus wears a doily and tiara for a Halloween costume, proclaiming himself the tooth fairy (Now that's scary, Cowboy quips) and attempts to tell Cowboy a knock-knock joke (Ain't nobody there! the dude protests). At Chow Time, Cowboy cooks Beans and Bacon, Bacon and Beans, and just plain Beans... with a little bit of bacon for Octopus; the cephalopod, who likes neither, licks one bean because Cowboy has worked so hard just for him. Greeting-card sentiments about friendship, punctuated by classic cowboy-isms dot the text. Those who love Scieszka and Smith's absurd humor will get the joke, but this is a lesser entry in the pair's pantheon. All ages. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–5—Picture-book readers meet an unlikely pair of friends here: a refined octopus and a cowboy who is a little rough around the edges. The two are actually paper cutouts: the title page reveals that Cowboy has been snipped from a Western Heroes paper-doll book and Octopus from a comic strip. Seven hilarious short stories are presented, beginning with the origin of the friendship, in which Cowboy is confused about a teeter-totter that doesn't seem to work until Octopus "repairs" it by sitting on the opposite end, and concluding with the pair gazing into the sunset of a picture postcard. All of the vignettes are silly and perfectly absurd; Scieszka captures a childlike dialogic cadence and ends the pieces with the sudden, agreeable solutions to problems that kids often come up with. Incorporating mid-20th-century illustrations, graphic art, newspaper clippings, and toys, the collage and mixed-media artwork perfectly matches the wacky text. The colors are slightly muted and the paper appears to have yellowed with age. The delightful paper protagonists never change poses, though Smith occasionally dresses them in zany paper hats and silly costumes, and their static nature adds to the humor. Share this title with devotees of Scieszka's and Smith's other collaborations and with fans of Mini Grey's Traction Man Is Here! (Knopf, 2005). Cowboy and Octopus prove that we all get by with a little help from our friends.—Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Lexile Measure: AD350L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (September 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670910589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670910588
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We purchased this book for our toddler because we love anything with an octopus and, after reading it ourselves, I have to say this is perhaps one of the funniest and fun-est books on our shelves. I'm back on Amazon to order a handful more copies to give as gifts to children and adults (with the right sense of humor.) The dry wit and random narrative come together to entertain all ages. Is the best passage the one with the botched knock-knock joke? Or the brutal honest opinion on hats? You will want to decide for yourself.
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By Just me on October 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We got this book from the library. The whole family thought it was hilarious, including my 5 yr old for whom it was intended. We liked it so much we are now purchasing it!
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By J.D. Ham on January 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Jon Scieszka's books--we have most of them on my kids' book shelf--but this one is by far my favorite. I think it is the perfect mixture of simplicity, good underlying messeges about friendship, and humor that an adult can appreciate. My daughter loves it too. Lane Smith's illustrations are also fun and unique. Good job, Jon and Lane! Keep them coming!
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Format: Hardcover
My son and I came across this book in the bookstore. We sat down to read it and had a great time in doing so. We both liked it and thought it was great, in a different sort of way. There are some very funny parts that made both of us laugh, a lot. My son is 9, yet I would recommend for children between 4 and 12.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is awesome! It is about a cowboy and octopus that become friends because the cowboy has nobody to ride the teeter-totter with one day. It is a hilarious story. They make fun of each other's hats, cowboy makes an excessive amount of bacon and beans and the octopus feels forced to eat them, and they have lots of adventures. The pictures are hilarious because it combines real pictures and drawings. For example: The octopus and cowboy are drawn out, but the beans they are eating are real pictures of beans.

My 6 year old loves this book, and I do too. A great read!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hilarious! I read this to a class I work with at school (kindergartners) and I laughed out loud at the witty banter and clever pictures. I think I enjoyed it as much ad they did! So I bought it for my 7 y.o. and she loves it so much that she reads it to anyone who will listen, complete with a put-on Texas accent for cowboy's dialogue. Priceless.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This picture book is actually several short stories about the unlikely friendship between an octopus and a cowboy. The stories are not too long, sometimes sweet and always hysterical. They celebrate the best of friendship, showcased especially well between these two opposites. For me, the unusual artwork adds immensely to the enjoyment of the book. It is not your typical picture book illustration!
My children and I had discovered Cowboy & Octopus at our library, and I knew the first time I read it that it would make the perfect Christmas gift for my lifelong friend who has begun collecting picture books. We had so much fun reading it aloud to everyone after she opened it--she reading the sensible Octopus part and me reading the goofy, yet sincere Cowboy.
My children currently range in age from 3 to 12, and I'm sure that in years to come we'll refer often to these funny examples of how friends should treat each other with appreciation, truthfulness and encouragement.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son loves all of Scieszka's books with The Stinky Cheese Man as his all time favorite. Cowboy & Octopus is a close runner-up. The common sense silliness of each story is fun. We discovered the book at age 6 and two years later he still reads it and laughs.
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